Massachusetts Agency’s Views on Woody-Biomass Energy Raises Concern
June 23, 2010
On June 18, the Forest Landowners Association (FLA) issued a press release praising the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences’ recent efforts to study the climate change and forest sustainability impacts of the budding woody biomass energy industry in Massachusetts. The Manomet Center conducted the study at the request of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The DOER then concluded from the report that burning wood to generate electricity is more harmful to the climate and environment than burning coal and other fossil fuels. It also opined that the emergence of a vibrant biomass energy market might result in the state’s forests being harvested at accelerated rates. As a result, the agency is suggesting that additional regulatory frameworks may be needed to protect public values. FLA questioned the DOER’s conclusions and cautioned against public policy decisions being made on the basis of the agency’s narrow interpretations of the Manomet study.
Scott Jones, FLA’s CEO, said, “We hold the Manomet Center in very high regard and we are completely supportive of the goals they set for this study and of their recognition of the long-term carbon neutrality attributes of biomass. However, we see no logic or compelling evidence to support the State of Massachusetts’ views that burning wood is less climate friendly than burning fossil fuels and that promoting renewable electricity generation will result in unsustainable forest management.”
View FLA’s Press Release